Photo by: Colin Campbell

Pork tenderloin with caramelised garlic and orange salsa

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1 orange
2 tbsp dried mint
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pork fillets, sinew removed (850g net)
5-6 heads of garlic, cloves removed and peeled (300g net of cloves)
3 tbsp olive oil
20g caster sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 red chilli, finely chopped
10g mint leaves, shredded
1 tbsp lemon juice
Maldon sea salt and black pepper


Grate the zest of half the orange into a large, non-reactive mixing bowl. Add the mint, olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well, add the pork fillets and rub the ingredients into the pork well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil, add the garlic and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and repeat the blanching process once more. Dry the pan, and pour in the olive oil. Put in the garlic and fry on high heat, stirring all the time, for 4-5 minutes until golden on all sides. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar (15g only), the vinegar, 90 millilitres of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until hardly any liquid is left, just the caramelised cloves in a thick syrup. Let cool.

Use a peeler to shave off wide strips of the remaining orange skin, avoiding the white pith. Cut the strips into 1-2 millimetre thick slices, or julienne, and place them in a small saucepan. Squeeze the orange and, if necessary, make the juice up to 100ml with water. Pour over the skins, add the remaining sugar and bring to a light simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the syrup is reduced to about a third, set aside to cool.
To make the salsa, stir the chilli, mint and lemon juice into the garlic pot. Add the orange strips without the syrup but keep it.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Place a large frying pan on high heat. Sear the pork fillets for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Place on a tray and roast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until pink. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, add any cooking juices to the garlic salsa and stir. Taste, and if a little dry, add some of the sweet orange syrup (watch out it doesn’t go too sweet). Use a sharp knife to slice the pork into medallions, 1-2 cm thick. Arrange these on plates with the garlic salsa on the side or on top.

8 Review(s)


{based on 8 reviews}
  • Recipes 5 times the recipe?
    (20/04/2016) Hi, I plan on making this dish for a dinner party for 18-20 people. If I simply just 5 X the meat and salsa will this work ok?

    REPLY: "Yes the recipe will multiple fine with a few small changes. Generally salt doesn't need to be multiplied as much as other ingredient, so reduce the amount of sea salt on the pork by 2 tsps (8tsp instead of 10 for 5x recipe). After the pork is cooked you can sprinkle with a little extra sea salt if you feel it is missing. Depending on the spiciness of the red chilli's use 3-4."
  • Recipes Side dishes?
    (28/02/2016) I plan to make this amazing dish for a dinner party. What sides would you recommend to compliment it?

    REPLY: "During early spring, some jersey royal new potatoes cooked with mint would be great and the beetroot, avocado and pea salad in (Plenty More p77) would be really seasonal, delicious and light."
  • Recipes So beautiful
    (17/01/2016) I'm making this for the second time today, the first time was so delicious we couldn't believe it! I halved the recipe for just two of us but found the instructions worked to the letter. Simple and beautiful, it'll be a form favourite in our house!
  • Recipes If I double it?
    (22/05/2015) If I have 4 pork tenderloins, do I double the salsa?
    Is it ok of the pork marinates for 24 Hours? Thanks!

    *RESPONSE: We would suggest doubling the salsa and marinade if you double the pork - and intend to serve more than four. The pork can marinate for 24 hours.
  • Recipes Garlic confusion!
    (26/02/2015) Hi, I am confused about the garlic... Am I blanching the peeled garlic cloves? I seems like a LOT of garlic!

    Thank you,

    REPLY: "Yes, indeed, the recipe is correct and its the peeled garlic cloves you are blanching. Doing so removes any of the harshness we think of raw garlic cloves as happening and helps them on their way to becoming something very mellow and sweet in the final dish. Trust the recipe to the letter and let us know what you think! You can always reduce the number of cloves the next you cook it, if you like. . ."
  • Recipes Flavor Burst
    (11/01/2015) Wow! Incredible. I never knew mint and orange would work so well.
    Delightful. My taste buds have been woken up!
    I did cook the pork for 40mins though.
  • Recipes Delicious - but cooking times off
    (18/12/2013) This is completely delicious and sooo simple for dinner parties. Got lots of favourable comments from guests. Very easy to marinade the pork in advance and then cook when guests arrive. BUT my pork loins took 40 mins to cook - not 7-10! Have done it twice now - first time a bit stressy due to cook times, second time a breeze. I also served it with the plum relish from the pork belly recipe in the first book - that may be sacrilege but it worked well!
  • Recipes Fab for dinner party
    (18/08/2013) Just made this dish for the first time. What can I say apart from it's outstanding. Full of middle eastern flavours. I made the winter couscous with it and it was a fantastic dish. Will definitely be making this again and it would be a great dinner party dish.